Good morning, Portland! PSST: Have you bought your tickets to SPLIFF, the Mercury's own short stoner film festival which premieres this weekend, yet?
Here are the headlines.
• Hannah Ahern was arrested on August 17, 2019, on the outskirts of an anti-fascist protest taking place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, for the very serious crime of... spitting in the general vicinity of some police officers, who promptly pinned her to the ground, handcuffed and arrested her. Ahern was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing, and now she's suing Portland cop Erik Kammerer for the retaliatory arrest.
• The US government's decision to press pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over a very rare blood clot reaction is fueling the fire of online anti-vaccine influencers. In fact, the most popular article on Facebook about the Johnson & Johnson shot isn't one that reports the facts about the blood clots—it's a fake news story shared by a conspiracy theorists.
• And speaking of vaccines: Only 0.008 percent of fully vaccinated Americans have contracted the virus:
CDC identifies only 5,800 Covid-19 infections after the final vaccine, out of more than 66 million. And those who got it had mild cases. https://t.co/gvBu6s1mlQ— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) April 15, 2021
• New jobs numbers shows that the country's jobless claims are sharply dropping as post-pandemic economic recovery continues. Oregon is also seeing that downward trend, but at a much slower rate than the US in general.
• The Biden administration announced aggressive sanctions against Russia today, framing them as a punishment for Russian tampering in the 2020 election.
• A new report from Buzzfeed shows the toll that multiple highly publicized police killings of Black men—Philando Castile, George Floyd, Daunte Wright and others—is having on residents of the Minneapolis area. “It’s almost May, and we’re doing exactly what we were doing last May,” one woman said at a memorial for Wright this year.
• New research shows that more than half of all Oregon families with young kids experienced some kind of disruption with childcare in the last year. Race was a big determining factor of which families suffered from lack of child care the most.
• Matt Bors, a longtime lefty comics artist whose work appeared in the Mercury for years (among many other publications), announced last week that he's retiring his weekly political cartoon to focus on other comics pursuits. I spoke with Bors about his decision to end his weekly political cartoons, and the future of comics in a post-print era—you can read our conversation here.
• A Canadian member of Parliament accidentally exposed his stark-naked body on Zoom yesterday. Working from home is rough, who among us, etc.
And finally, we'll end today with an important fashion update: